Bridges in Mathematics Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does each student get a textbook?
No. Each student uses a Bridges Student Book and Number Corner Student Book in class to solve problems and record their work. Each student also gets their own Home Connections book for homework assignments. In kindergarten, the homework does not begin until later in the year.
- How often should we expect homework?
Homework is a chance for students to practice what they have learned and for families to see what students are doing in math class. It is assigned with increasing frequency as students’ progress from kindergarten through fifth grade. In the lower grades, assignments are sent home about once a week; by fifth grade, you can expect to see assignments two or three times a week. In addition, teachers may send home supplemental practice pages if students need more practice with a particular skill or if there is a desire for more frequent homework.
- What do I do if I want my child to have extra practice?
Talk to your child’s teacher. Bridges includes additional practice pages, and there are many high-quality games and apps available for practice. Talking with your child’s teacher ensures you are on the same page regarding your child’s needs.
- What will students be learning each marking period?
Click the appropriate link below for information about what students will learn each marking period.
- Why is it a good idea to learn multiple strategies?
As students develop their ability to recall basic facts, it makes good sense to address both mastery of the skill (quick recall of facts) and understanding of the concept (the properties of the operation and the relationships between facts). Bridges teaches basic facts by first having students explore the operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) in the context of story problems or situations, which ensures students understand what it means to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Students then learn strategies for solving basic problems. These strategies illustrate properties of the operation. They can also be used for mental math with larger numbers and help recall facts when needed. Finally, students practice the facts until they can recall them from memory.
- Why not have students memorize basic facts and algorithms?
Bridges teaches students to compute with larger numbers by first establishing conceptual understanding of the operation, then using visual models to learn different ways of calculating, and finally helping them become proficient with efficient algorithms. When computing with larger numbers, students are frequently encouraged to make an estimate first. Estimation promotes number sense, helps students evaluate whether their final answers are reasonable, and encourages them to develop mental math skills that are useful in so many real-world situations.
- Why is it important for students to show their work and explain their thinking?
Asking students to show their work provides more information for teachers and improves student learning. When students explain how they solved a problem, they come to understand the mathematical concepts more deeply. Showing their work also provides detailed evidence that teachers can use to see what students know and where their misconceptions lie. This evidence is essential. It allows teachers to adjust the way they teach to meet students’ needs, and to document student learning over time, which helps them communicate with families about students’ progress. For similar reasons, state tests often require students to explain how they solved a problem. Students are better prepared for such test items when they explain their solutions on a regular basis.
- Where can I access additional resources and information about this curriculum, including links to grade level online games?
The Math Learning Center
- Where can I access information about the free apps?
The Math Learning Center